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03-13-2016, 05:36 PM   #1
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Ricoh THETA is real - Disrupted Trump Rally Video - Interesting

*** Please - Don't let this become a hate-fest political thread that gets closed down. This isn't about politics. It is about Theta and how it is being used in the political process. ***

I noticed this post on a very widely followed blog I look at every so often. The blog is written by a Law Professor at University of Wisconsin and is followed by a certain variety of liberal who believes in the protection of law as it guarantees individual liberty. When 360 video is used to support political action, and when its use has earned recognition on 'Althouse', 360 video in the hands of the average person has made the leap. The camera was a Theta.

The original video was posted at the Chicago Tribune website.

The post links to a Theta YouTube video taken by protesters at a Trump rally. The OP's reason to link was as much due to the different experience of Theta as it was to illustrate irony. The protesters gleefully illustrate their actions using 360 video. Interestingly, the problems getting Theta video to work in Safari are noted, but Althouse posts anyway.

The important point here is Theta is a thing. In the post, the Theta is more important than the comment.

Eight or ten comments down some guy - not me - posts "Here's the Camera" and pastes the link to the Theta website without hyperlink tags (tags automatically show up here).

https://theta360.com/en/about/theta/


Last edited by monochrome; 03-13-2016 at 05:48 PM.
03-13-2016, 05:52 PM - 1 Like   #2
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I hate crowds - they make me feel very uncomfortable - and the Theta video really tapped into that feeling.
03-13-2016, 06:00 PM   #3
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I think Ricoh is going to see increased demand for these things now.

Agree on the irony.
03-13-2016, 06:06 PM   #4
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good use of the Theta, it is really amazing how sharp it is aa you move it through 360 degrees. I am very interested in owning one.

03-13-2016, 06:07 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
I think Ricoh is going to see increased demand for these things now.
I think it is interesting that at CP+ Theta was featured alongside K-1 and 645z - and at WPPI the only products shown other than K-1 and 645z were Theta and WG-M2.

Wedding togs using a Theta and/or an action vidcam? Hmmmmm.
03-13-2016, 06:12 PM   #6
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There's a big push for VR right now from a diverse group of tech companies, from Facebook (purchased Oculus Rift) to Samsung. (Gear VR and a camera) to Google (Cardboard and YouTube), Ricoh, and now Nikon, LG, and others. GoPro will likely enter the market as well or watch their POV dominance threatened.

It's still too early to say whether or not this will be the next big thing or the next 3D, but if Ricoh wants to stay relevant they've got to continue to iterate models and smooth out some of the workflow friction so that editing and sharing is as easy as shooting.

I'm ordering a Samsung Gear VR and hope to be playing Theta videos with it soon.
03-13-2016, 06:43 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
It's still too early to say whether or not this will be the next big thing or the next 3D, but if Ricoh wants to stay relevant they've got to continue to iterate models and smooth out some of the workflow friction so that editing and sharing is as easy as shooting.
^^This^^

Ricoh beat almost everyone (even the kickstarters) to market with a high-quliaty, small, no-stitch 360 camera, but now the big-name competitors are coming in fast and furious (Nikon Keymission, Samsung Gear 360, LG 360cam, and the GoPro to-be-named-later). Ricoh has a chance to not just set up the buffet for others with bigger marketing budgets and smartphones, but actually eat some of that lunch!

It may not be everyone's cup of tea, but once you see it on a HMD (Oculus or Cardboard), the experience is pretty immersive. Having been a pano-head myself for 17 years, I don't really have unbiased consumer perspective, but I'm already getting new clients interested in my VRs based on the CES "360 VR" buzz.
03-13-2016, 06:51 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
It's still too early to say whether or not this will be the next big thing or the next 3D
oh it's easy to see right now: it will be the next 3D. There are health issues surrounding VR use that simply cannot be ignored...some individuals have eye problems that make using VR a literal headache - some people suffer from nausea and motion sickness when using VR headsets. VR like, 3D displays and 360 degree cameras like the Ricoh theta: they are a niche product: they have their place but they will never supplant traditional 2D presentation forms.

03-13-2016, 06:54 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Wedding togs using a Theta and/or an action vidcam?
No doubt! Imagine the bridal couple, they probably didn't see much of the ceremony form the center of it, they could go back and capture friends and family reactions, etc, and the same for the reception.
I've seen the Theta used at bars adn outings, it's so immersive that it's hard to beat with regular old selfies.
03-13-2016, 07:29 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
It's still too early to say whether or not this will be the next big thing or the next 3D
Well, it's not the next 3D, which is a contrived viewing perspective that doesn't allow the audience to see anything that isn't intended to be in the scene. You can't orchestrate 360 video or frame a 360 still image. The Theta allows the viewer to move from foreground to background at will, allowing everyone to find an individual context or perspective. It is useless for making propaganda. The real advance of this type of spherical image over what was possible in the past is how easy it is take "omnivision" images with these cameras, anyone can do this at any time in any situation; how long it takes for people to get tired of looking at these images afterwards is probably going to determine the amount of commercial success these cameras have. The only thing stopping me from thinking this type of spherical image recorder will be the next big thing guaranteed, is that I'm not so sure we really want to record perfect eyewitness accounts that we can't manipulate.
03-13-2016, 08:17 PM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
I hate crowds - they make me feel very uncomfortable - and the Theta video really tapped into that feeling.
In late September of 1985 (I think) by chance my wife and I were at the St. Louis Cardinals baseball game when they clinched the NL East (before realignmnet). Every attendee had been given a small towel - a Rally Towel - to wave. In the bottom of the 7th inning (I forget who) lined a hit deep to right center, scoring two runs, creating what was perceived to be an insurmountable lead.

56,000 people erupted with one voice in a roar, leaping up in unison waving their towels. The Mets were in town for the final three games of the season, down by 2 with three games to go. They had been given a party room to watch the game - and during the cheering I watched them turn away from the railing and head out. It was thirty years ago and I still remember the thrill - and the strong creepy awareness I had that crowd emotion is very powerful. Nothing bad happened, but the threat of uncontrolled mass action was really just below the surface.

I was sharply aware that my wife is physically too small to protect herself, and at the time was quite shy and innocent of the world. It was a different time for men - especially men who were traditionally raised. Simultaneously participating in the victorious celebration and standing outside myself contemplating my obligation to protect my mate, I was aware of a dark side of humanity - how close we are to squatting in the dust with a spear, protecting our woman and our meat from the other guys who want them. What a moment. Still with me over thirty years later.

I've actually thought of taking my Theta M15 to a baseball game to capture such a moment in 360 video, but I didn't get it together enough this year with the job change to buy tickets.

Having that on 360 would be - interesting. I think that's a use that hasn't yet been exploited.

Last edited by monochrome; 03-13-2016 at 08:28 PM.
03-14-2016, 12:43 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
oh it's easy to see right now: it will be the next 3D. There are health issues surrounding VR use that simply cannot be ignored...some individuals have eye problems that make using VR a literal headache - some people suffer from nausea and motion sickness when using VR headsets. VR like, 3D displays and 360 degree cameras like the Ricoh theta: they are a niche product: they have their place but they will never supplant traditional 2D presentation forms.
Never said anything about supplanting 2D, and one of the differences now with VR is the interest from the gaming community. VR has the potential to take the most popular playing style (first person) of an industry bigger than Hollywood to a whole other level. VR offers an immersive experience that, if the technology can be improved, this group will eat up. If anything, captured VR from cameras like the Theta may end up being small potatoes compared to fabricated VR.

My hunch is that VR will eventually take hold, but the question is if today's tech is up to the task.

QuoteOriginally posted by RGlasel Quote
Well, it's not the next 3D, which is a contrived viewing perspective that doesn't allow the audience to see anything that isn't intended to be in the scene. You can't orchestrate 360 video or frame a 360 still image. The Theta allows the viewer to move from foreground to background at will, allowing everyone to find an individual context or perspective. It is useless for making propaganda. The real advance of this type of spherical image over what was possible in the past is how easy it is take "omnivision" images with these cameras, anyone can do this at any time in any situation; how long it takes for people to get tired of looking at these images afterwards is probably going to determine the amount of commercial success these cameras have. The only thing stopping me from thinking this type of spherical image recorder will be the next big thing guaranteed, is that I'm not so sure we really want to record perfect eyewitness accounts that we can't manipulate.
I was comparing VT to 3D from a business perspective, not a creative one. Creatively, having used the Theta for about 9 months, I've learned a number of things:
  1. Not all places make an interesting VR image. Very few places in the real world are interesting enough.
  2. VR takes away much of a ohotographer's instinct to compose (control) a shot. Composition must be considered in a very different light.
  3. With GoPro style POV footage, the primary view of interest is still looking forward but there is something to be gained from the viewer to view different angles of the same scene. A VR of a skier is still most interestng looking forward but being able to see a skier's body language is neat too. This is traditionally accomplished with a multicam setup and decisions in the edit suite; now it's incumbent upon the viewer to make that decision to "cut" to another angle.

At the end of the day VR is a new creative challenge that I find intriguing. I've dabbled in it for 20+ years (remember QuickTime VR?) but this time it feels different, more accessible.
03-14-2016, 02:08 AM   #13
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I'm amazed by the number of cameras and phones held aloft. This wasn't really a protest, it was group of poseurs from both sides performing for themselves and each other.
03-14-2016, 06:56 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by officiousbystander Quote
I'm amazed by the number of cameras and phones held aloft. This wasn't really a protest, it was group of poseurs from both sides performing for themselves and each other.
That is the sad truth. Nicely put.
03-14-2016, 08:41 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
VR has the potential to take the most popular playing style (first person) of an industry bigger than Hollywood to a whole other level.
you mean VR as a new platform for the AAA game publishers to push their bloated IP's even further. The game industry especially among AAA publishers is a disaster of excess, it is only a matter of time before sleazy practices from companies like KONAMI and UNIVERSAL get their just desserts for treating customers* the way they have.


*And in the case of KONAMI, they have prevented the developer of some of their most successful IP's from accepting an award for his own work.

Last edited by Digitalis; 03-14-2016 at 05:20 PM.
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